While most students are returning from their Spring Break trips, students like Natalia Satterfield ’17 have traveled far from home during the winter.

“I’ve been going to Serbia ever since I was one year old. I usually go only for summer vacation, but it has become a new tradition to go for Christmas and New Year’s,” Natalia said.

Because Natalia was so excited to go on her trip, the already-long flight seemed to last forever.

“The flight was long and boring; a little baby was sitting two rows in front of me and kept screaming her head off the whole flight,” Natalia commented.

When Natalia finally landed, she and her family stayed in the city of Belgrade, the capitol of Serbia.

“I stayed in Belgrade for four days, and then spent the rest of my vacation in Voluja. My friends and family all live there, so I enjoyed staying there rather than the city,” Natalia said.

Though she’d anticipated what her trip would be like, Natalia was in for a surprise when she reached Serbia.

“It was very warm in Serbia which shocked me. During wintertime the weather is always freezing, but this winter was different,” Natalia stated.

The way of life in Voluja is quite different from how people live in Michigan.

“In the town, the lifestyle is very slowed down and calm. Everyone knows each other and everyone gets along. There is a lot of farmland, so there are always people outside working in their yards or fields. Also, there is no pressure to be perfect, everyone just accepts you for who you are and what you have,” Natalia said.

In the United States, teenagers seem to have more restrictions than freedoms. In Serbia, however, teenagers have more self-independence.

“I could walk the streets alone, day and night, and not worry about being followed or kidnapped because things like that don’t really occur in my town. Also, we have a cafe where all the teenagers go and we stayed out until four a.m., sometimes even later. There was always a live band performing, so it was always a good time,” Natalia commented.

Natalia participated in many activities during her stay in Voluja.

“I did many things like hiking, hanging out with my friends, ice skating, and I even went to school with some of my friends too,” Natalia said.

While she may have gone on the trip with her whole family, Natalia’s experiences in Serbia have made her feel more independent.

“It was the best break I’ve had so far because it was a chance for me to be independent and not have my parents with me all the time. I was with my friends 24/7, doing fun and crazy things all the time. My favorite memory was when my friend and I put on a bunch of ridiculous clothes and walked around like that all day, making people laugh and stare,” Natalia stated.

While Natalia loves visiting Serbia, she would also enjoy visiting other countries around the world.

“I would like to visit Italy, because it seems like a very beautiful place to visit. I would love to try the various foods and go shopping in Milan,” Natalia said.

Natalia had the time of her life in Serbia and can’t wait to return in the summer.

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